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tv   [untitled]    November 24, 2010 2:00am-2:30am PST

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which are very expensive and very driven by trying to stay up with evolving regulations. i'm wondering how as we try to rethink some of these projects we're going to get the regulators to think with us. because much of what we do we're doing on a very tight timetable to come into compliance. >> very good question. how do educate regulators. regulators, does anybody have an answer to that one? . >> well, as a regulator i will admit that we are aware of the problem and we are looking for innovative solutions. actually, that question was one of the dumbest questions i've ever heard and i'm going to have my driver answer it. >> i think the regulators, in my experience at least, are becoming aware that the single
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purpose deadlines that drive them are not always going to be supportive of the issues we are raising. while they may not know the answers at least they are open to talking about it. >> i think the key thing is our regulations are created in reaction to a problem of the past. the most difficult thing will be to get we, the regulators, and everybody else to turn around and look to the future. >> that's going to take getting back to the political process because these regulators are not driven by their own imaginations, they are usually implementing statutes and responding to very important public imperatives. >> the general part of the answer is to get everybody around the table and have an integrated approach. and recognize that a lot of groundwork has to be done in facilitating that, in resolving the inherent conflicts because we're not used to sitting around the table with regulators, necessarily, and
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reaching a consensus on how to go forward. it's not the traditional way of working in many areas. secondly i think to recognize is what drives the regulators. the regulators work for an agency and are usually accountable to the public for a public process. their concern is if they don't invoke certain regulations they will be liable, they will be answerable to the public, and we have to help them with that issue. we have to help them see this is a two-way process. >> i am being dragged off stage -- is there time for one last point? no. we are due to take a break and be back at 11.30. no, i am wrong. let's hear from our leader, then. . >> i don't know about you, but i believe this has been a great
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panel, so please show them your appreciation. thank you all for your questions and, mary, thank you for you and your group here to give us some good thoughts and ideas. you are to be back at a little before 11.15 because we want you in your seats at 11.15. so take a quick break. there's more muffins, coffee, juice ....
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okay let's get going on our next panel the title of our next panel is mountains to mouths the vanishing snow pact. i have to tell you some of my coleagues at the, puc, did not like that title and if any of you don't you can blame me. i like it. there you go. i think it says a lot and eventhough i have a joking tone in my voice, it is serious business about the vanishing snow pact. today we have a very distinguished panel and to lead that off is our moderator ja rod, and he represents the area north of san francisco and in
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his first term he's chairing the environmental safety and toxic materials jurisdiction committee. it has jurisdiction of airport pollution making him the key legislature in over seeing california new global warming law assembly bill 32. mr.,huf fman, serves on the water parks and wild life committee and in that roll will present any water challenges confronting the state this year in that very capacity. prior to this election in the california capacity he served as senior attorney as the national environmental defense county and was a member of
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the,m oren municipal water protection district for years. he was instrumental in negotiating the, san jaquin, refr river. we think this will be one of biggest restorations in our nation. please welcome me in welcoming. ja rad. >> welcome susan and welcome to all of you. the first or worst fear of any water manager is running out of water. i lerned that in my four years
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at,m oren, county the water district serves about 230 thousand people in that county and it's an agency that almost ran out of water in the 1977 drought and despite major investments in imported water supplies and water recycling the fact is they have been operating in a water supply deficit. thankfully for that period we've almost always had above average rain fall. if that occurred today, those residents despite all their plumbing facilities and other efficiency measures would have to reduce demand an additional 70 percent in order to keep from running out of water. the
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choices faces, them like many in the west are not easy and certainly not cheap. you're going to find a common thread the area of cheap and easy solutions to water supply is over. consider the fact that,mufd, is sponsoring around 8 hundred dollars an acre foot if any of you are paying more than that for incentive programs i would love to know but that probably is setg the pace. the district is considering a plant on san francisco bay to diversify it's water supply, portfolio and supervise a hedge on patterns that are likely to get even more volatile with climate change. yes, it's expensive but how do you value wet water in a
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critical drought and is that drought in 77 the droughts we should be planning for. these challenges are compounded by the fact that our environment and fisheries need water too. my work at,nrdc, taught me most california streams and rivers need more water now to support healthy eco systems. one of the victims would be a beautiful north coast stream which in addition to providing most of,m oren, counties water supply endangers cohost salmon. if it doesn't fix it water regulator many the next drought may have to choose between the thirst of 2 hundred people and
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continued existence of this fishery. we face this on our greater scale with the pay delta in ecological collapse in the last decade. we know the collapse in any number of emergencies we're going to lose a number of facilities and it may be rendered by a moderate rise in sea level and future realize on increases diversions. in light of all this, we ask how should water managers best respond to the threat of global warming. my first hope is that water managers get on the front edge fight against this. your not bush administration
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scientists and nobody will stop you from talking about that. this panel invited us into a very unsettling way of framing the discussion those of us steeped the fight. we assume this is inevitable and we're focussing entirely on how to respond to it's impacts. this is a discussion that we absolutely must have because we're in a race against time. as we know, we're already feelg the impacts of global warming and things going to get worst before better so its the job of global managers to plan for the worst and that's what we're here to talk about today. among the issues, what impacts are we most concerned about, what adaptations are necessary and what models or in the analysis are they planning to
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do and what initial things do they need for future decisions. our discussion takes place against a political backdrop here in california where leaders in both parties recognized the importance of including global warming in our strategies you know the governors water proposal called for 4 and a half billion dollars. sites reservoir and tell mperance river. together these would provide five hundred thousand acre feet of water supply but their being promoted as tools to provide flexibility against hydraulic changes due to global warming. democrats have also unleeched a plan that does not include new
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damages. the senate package has ground water storage reoperation of storage and it's promised as a cheaper and faster way to address the problem with. these high stakes hanging in the balance we're blessed today to have a world class panel of water managers the folks that make some of the toughest decisions for the some of the biggest water facilities on the west coast. chuck clark the director of seattle public utilities. edward for the portland water bureau. marine stapleton for the san die ae go and less tear from water and wally bishop the contra water d district. each panelist will have a chance to speak and ten minute
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time limit is a little like global warming. it sneaks up on you and then it's hard to deal with there that end. we'll try to reserve of for questions and answered that end. thanks. >> thank you jarrod and i will go through this quickly and i hope there's sufficient teasers in there to get you to ask questions as we get near the end. cautionary notes this is the system of seattle system, not your system. you have to look that principals and see if they apply to the same work the planning side, the modeling side, the adaptive side and i'll talk briefly for a few seconds on mayors initiative on climate control because it
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gives an as political environment to work in and then the seattle system. the mayor of seattle nickels started the protocols for the city and started process with a lot of other mayors to start aggressively dealing with climate change if your interested at the bottom we have the website where there was an advisory commission made up of a number of corporate entities including starbucks and boeing and they came up with a plan for seattle the materials are there and if your interested i encourage you to go ahead and look at those and see the things being done with other mayors across the country. >> our system, we have two water supply systems the cedar
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system and toll system that supplies one third and we own the entire head waters on 90 thousand acres and we control that and it's secure so it allows us to not filter that supply and the toll system we own 15000 acres around. so we control a majority of our system which gives us a little flexibility in the way we design and manage our system and allows experiments that we could not do in other areas. again, 90 thousand acres, most of our reservoir gets a hundred thousand precipitation dependent water supply. we don't have multi-year
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storage so we depend on that's a rain. for us, there's a number of adaptive strategies we've been trying to figure out to invest in to deal with consequences of climate change. one of the first is to try and figure out how to get rid of as much uncertainty as we can. we know we can't get rid of the uncertainty of why mate change but were there other things that we can start minimizing now so future water managers are not going to deal with those as an uncertainty in their portfolio. what does that include? it includes like in the last year we settled a 50 year debate with an indian tribe that cost us about 40 million dollars and
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set minimum flows to deal with fish needs and water needs some we took an issue sitting in the courts and took that off of the uncertainty side and made it have a certain relationship with it. we're reexamining whether we should go back and do fill trabs not from the stance of a quality standpoint but two o to three years we divert the water plant, can we invest and get the operator the ability to not have that water. so that in the future they have more surety in what they're going to be able to do to manager the system. you ought to be pulling apart your systems to see that person that has to make those decisions every day. what can you provide them with tools to make those decisions we have temporary pumping
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stations that get floated out on the reservoir. we're look at investing in permanent pumping things. if you have a permanent pumping station it takes you 24 hours. ten years back we would not have thought that was very important. now we're looking how to give the operator the flexibility to respond in 24 hours the results of operateg the system. we upgraded the entire information system to try and go real time in a much more aggressive way throughout the system to have that real time control over the operation. if we can get more and more of the daily issue us eliminated then their not so critical to our success. we have, you know
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we're looking at down sizing a lot of our buildings internally and lead standards have been adopted we're trying to test the system. two years ago we took the total reservoir and drove it 25 feet lower than it had ever been driven before. we did it on purpose because we had models that said this is what happens if you drive it that low and we really did not know. so we drove it and experienced the worst of all conditioned which was 9 inches of rain and wind storms on newly exposed reservoir bottoms. we saw the consequences of the model verses the sedimentation of the water supply and they were about the a fifth of what the model was so now we can draw it lower than we ever have
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before if we need to you need to look at those opportunity to test your system. we've modified the temperatures to so we're taking it from three different levels and we have that ability with our intakes? why is that important? in the future we're dealing with fish flow and temperatures and streams. historically we took the water off the top that's the hottest we're now trying to mimic controlled stream conditions in other areas again, to give us flexibility and less uncertainty in the future to manage the system. we're push together find out what can the system really do and how can we really maximize it's use as we look forward if we don't do that we're not going to be effective in the resources we currently have. many of you have probably seen this and it's really an
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uncertainty chart. how do you deal with forecasting climate change. it's davids chart but part of it is, it's easy to do the bottom up stuff. what are our vulnerabilities and it's much harder taking global weather data and making it regional united states weather or climate estimates making it state or regional,est makeses and you have a realm of scenarios of a million or havea million because depending on the input, you're out puts give you all kinds of scenario. there was question today on sea rice. i can give you 50 that might be effective.
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how do you man to search scenario. this talked a little bit more about some of the work that's done and i'll move on. keep going to the next slide. this is what we did - some work with washington so to say with the best information we have now available and we looked that range of alternatives what are the average impacts of sly mate change on our system. and we came one a list. having said this this is an average. hand in the refrigerator and oven and your hand in the middle but when you do scenario planning you have to look at what you're going to do for consequences. so increases in temperature, no changes in precipitation or the way we get precipitations and no change in the precipitation.
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decreases in snow back of 50 percent and decrease to inflow and decreases in yield. that all assumes a static systems and our operators don't change dealing with flood pockets or rule curves so that's impact of operating the system like we have historically and that's impact on our system. the issue is from today on we can't operate the system the way we used to so we have to start changing and coming one new models on how to do it. >> this i have found this a phenomenal chart. if you start that upper left and go down line by line on this chart, it shows you the official demand forecast for the seattle city water supply system. we have never - at least to
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date - underforecasted the demand. we always over forecast. i think if you have not looked at your official forecast it gives you a reality historically and what the demands really look like. i think also, if you have not look and i'm assuming most have, this is what our water consumption looks like verses our population increases. we have had significant population increases and our demand continues to decline two to two and a half percent a year. half retails and half wholesale customers, we're continue to see though it moderates, a decrease in demand. there's a significant amount of supply in your existing demand and you need to figure out how to access that. if you look at peak day and
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average annual water and you look at peak there's a lot of room between those two lines. that's untapped supply and i could get 20 to 40 million gallons by pricing alone. just on the commercial and residential. if you look at supply people for get one the best way to do is price the slide and it gives you an opportunity and that's one reason we had the conservation in programs in pricing and a very aggressive tier pricing schedule which is the reason we're not using as much water as before. this is important because we're going to add something to this chart but we go through a forecast model that tries to predict on the demand side the impact on climate change. we've done scenario planning and built in that the impacts
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of temperature on our demand which is primarily for us there's a direct for peak season in the summer and we're doing a very good job for that and we're now taking yield curve - the upper line, and how do we develop a confidence band around that so it also - we have a better feel for what our system can truly yield. the competence plan in some instances will hold increases supply in certain scenarios and depending on the way we manager our system it could change the system and depress demand. if we get high duration and short immre men tabs if we get that once a week our demand goes down 30 to 40 million gallop as day.
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the other issue just if you have not looked, you ought to look at the relative use of water in the world up where the united states sits per capita verses australia, japan, russia, germany, china, pick your own country. various capacity in the system to deal with some of the impacts of climate change. so i think there's capacity there and something you out to look at. then finally, back to add ing a couple of issues to chart on here. one if you have not done it you should look at your financial systems and rate stability that now particularly to deal with rate increases in the future. you should be paying a lot of attention to where you are now with rates. you need to keep flexible.
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the biggest problem i have now is people trying to solve my problems for me to invest in today to solve something 30 or 40 years from now and to make huge capitol investments today might not be the right approach and you need to all look at that in our own utilities. we need to react and not over-react and do things that don't make sense and cause our rate payer as lot of sense and are not going to contribute to solveg the problem. we're going to get a lot more information year by years we go forward. finally i would really reiterate what you really need to do is try and get control overall those things you know you can control. that up certainty that
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